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Category: Character

Motive: The Key to Writing Stories Readers Can’t Put Down

Motivation points out where a character is most likely to trip, but also highlights the direction the character needs to grow. It’s this additional psychological layering that can make even a simple story deceptively complex. Like stepping into a puddle and falling into the center of the Earth.

Characters: Audiences Read Stories, but Great Stories Read the Audience

Characters are critical for stories that resonate. Why? Because characters are the conduit that connects the reader, that vests them in the events. We can’t empathize with technology, spaceships, magic, or nuclear submarines. Humans can’t bond emotionally to a place (without the characters as the connection). For instance, we CARE about Lord of the Rings’ …

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Inner Demons: Soap Opera Drama vs. Story Drama

One key thing to remember about inner demons is they hide really, really well. If they didn’t, then shrinks would starve and be treated like writers.

Flawed Characters vs. “Too Dumb to Live”: What Makes the Difference?

Which is more important? Plot or character? To write great fiction, we need both. Plot and characters work together. One arc drives the other much like one cog serves to turn another, thus generating momentum in the overall engine we call “STORY.” Writers have a unique challenge. On one hand we need a rock solid …

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Bad People Make Better Stories: Crafting the Perfect ‘Unlikable’ Character

Bad people make better stories. Why? Because I cannot say this enough, ‘Fiction is about one thing and one thing only—PROBLEMS.’ Who better to create a lot of problems than damaged, broken, unlikable, foolish and possibly even unredeemable human beings? ***I use the term ‘human beings’ for all characters because aliens, otherworldly beings, and any …

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